Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Modern Cubes

There is something very Modern Times-esque about this story about this contraption for turning the cubicle worker mobile. The idea is to keep workers gainfully employed on the computer as they get their daily quota of exercise on the tread-mill. The feeding machine would fit in nicely in this scheme of things along with the state of the art napping device.

A built in alarm is set and once nap time is up, lights and vibration serve as a gentle wake up call. Members pay $65 a month for an unlimited number of naps, while non-members pay $14 for 20 minutes in the Energy Pod.

When sleep is that expensive, unlimited access to the device could very well become an employee benefit. The whole idea of making the most of the 40 hours a week (on average) of worker time may not always yield the expected returns. Most people don't miss their deadlines because they were slipping away for a workout at the gym or napping at their desk from sheer tiredness.

They are not successful as individual performers because they don't have the larger organization working in tandem with them towards a set of common goals. Critical decisions are made too late, budgets are cut randomly and key players move on by when the ducks are finally in a row. No amount of cube-walking or power-napping will solve all that. The mantra seems to be "ignore cause, control symptoms"

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